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Do I need to move hosting? An easy guide

Do I need to move hosting? An easy guide

Not all relationships are built to last and sometimes a change can do you the world of good.

Your relationship with your web host might be in need of a clean sweep when you ask: “Do I need to move hosting?”

Perhaps you are not getting the level of customer service you need or haven’t noticed a significant-enough uptake of business since your ‘bells-and-whistles’ site was launched.

Maybe you don’t have enough space or bandwidth through your host. Or your website is running slow due to a shared server being overloaded or a web host oversharing its resources. Maybe your live development time is too slow.

What to consider when asking: “Do I need to move hosting?”

Changing hosts can mean the world of difference when it comes to search engine visibility. The site’s location, platform, structure, content and design all have an impact on how easily people can find your site.

Relax: you don’t need to feel daunted by the idea of a migration. A professional and experienced web host, like Aura Host, will assist you to move seamlessly, with no loss of data, and with minimal site downtime.

A well-planned and executed migration with minimal short-term traffic loss and visible growth thereafter can be achieved through right planning.

Are all website hosting packages the same?
No, different website hosting services offer various levels of service with differing pricing structures, and some will even offer to do the migration for free.

You can sign up for your site to be hosted by a free web host, such as WIX.com, godaddy.com or Weebly.com, which are also free website builders, but you may not get the standard of service, or the specific functionalities you need to run your site.

Another downside of the free service is that, in return, you have to run their adverts on your web pages, or certain features come with a heavy price tag.

No, different website hosting services offer various levels of service with differing pricing structures, and some will even offer to do the migration for free.

Hosting options
Most small businesses pay for shared hosting on a server along with other websites. While this approach can be relatively simple and uncomplicated, the downside to this very cost-effective option is that space and bandwidth can be limited.

One also doesn’t know how many other sites are being hosted on the same server and high-traffic on one site can have an impact on the speed of the other sites.

If you’re sharing server space with what are traditionally high-traffic sites (sites that have a lot of visitors), apart from it not being a very salubrious ‘neighbourhood’ for your business, your site speed could be severely constrained by the server being severely overloaded. Security breaches are also a concern in this set-up.

If you really want to boost the traffic to your site and the performance of your site, it’s best to choose Aura Host who will dedicate a certain amount of server power and resources that will not be effected by other websites on the same server.

Aura also has some excellent security features that means your website account cannot be compromised if another website on the same server has been hacked.

However, when your website starts picking up more visitors, you will need to consider stepping up your hosting plan.

The next step up is virtual dedicated hosting – known as a virtual private server (VPS) – in which a larger defined amount of bandwidth and RAM is specifically dedicated to each user, meaning faster-loading and functioning websites.

While VPS customers share a server, they have greater control and larger portions than shared hosting clients. The virtual dedicated hosting option offers a lot of flexibility and control for sites that need a large database, and software on the server can also be installed or removed. This is a popular option for medium-sized businesses.

Dedicated web hosting is another option, in which an entire machine/server is dedicated to your site, ensuring no ‘traffic’ jams, but it is obviously a much more expensive approach.

Consider your options
Sound out your potential new web host about issues such as disc space (websites with lots of video or audio will need more space than those without it; find out if you can increase your disc space if necessary in future); security system performance, monthly traffic, processing speed, connection speed, and e-mail accounts and e-mail support. What e-commerce options does the host offer and can PayPal be easily integrated into the design?

Web hosts should also offer regular backup services to protect your site and data. Check also if your web server has the latest technologies, such as PERL. JAVA and PHP, and what kind of databases the host has available (MySQL, Oracle, etc) to run your site. Check also if your new host can guarantee the reliability of their server and site uptime. Does your host offer a user-friendly control panel with all the necessary functions? As this is the brain of the hosting account, it is critical that it is as accessible and easy-to-use as possible. Aura Host has all of these features and more, even a PHP selector.

There are also different hosting platforms to consider when investigating potential hosts. Two of the most popular hosting platforms are Windows hosting services and Linux Hosting Services. As a result of the high software licensing hosts, the Windows approach works out to be a pricier option, while, with Linux the opportunities are unlimited and hosting costs will be cheaper. One of the most common hosting environments is a shared Linux server with MySQL databases and a cPanel control panel.

Before you leave…
Prior to embarking on the migration, make sure all your files and databases are backed-up from your existing hosting account. Unless you are skilled in this area, it’s best to let an expert handle this, so the structure of the website folders on the existing account is not compromised. By moving website elements or changing file names, internal links or even the entire content management system can be severely damaged. Keep your old hosting account active until the migration is complete to ensure a smooth and trouble-free transition. Why not speak to one of our agents about moving today?

Executed with careful and strategic planning and consideration, a web host migration need not be a headache and the primary objectives of retaining your site’s current traffic and revenue levels, and ultimately increasing that growth, should be met. With good advice and expert skills, you can ensure your newly-hosted site is attractive and functional. And that you won’t need to head for another technological divorce anytime soon.

Come have a coffee and discuss your web-hosting needs with Aura Host. We can assist you to make the right decisions on planning the growth and upgrading of your website platform. With a better-performing website, with plenty of through-traffic and sufficient bandwidth space, you and your new host could be a match made in heaven. – Sarah Taylor